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42

The funds for the Autobahn project came from the Reinhardt Program, a credit finance scheme originated by Kurt von Schleicher. The contractors who built the highways were paid not in Reichsmark, but with debentures issued by the Reich Finance Ministry which could be redeemed at a discount at certain banks that formed a work creation consortium. These banks, ...


41

Banking existed in the era of the Romans and earlier. In ancient Greece and Asia Minor temples served as a sanctuary where individuals could make deposits for safekeeping. This practice continued with the Romans (see this article titled "Temple Banking In Rome"). For instance, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus was the largest depository in Asia and served as ...


35

Frederick II the Great, king IN Prussia 1740–1786 used to counterfeit currency of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (PLC) on a large scale, for profit and to economically weaken Polish state. Officially PLC wasn't at war with Prussia but the only reason that this and other hostile activities of Frederick the Great were unanswered by PLC was the weakness of ...


31

I think the Great Depression was quite irrelevant for Germany in 1939 similarly to for other countries that took measures at state regulation. As for the income, Germany was a well-developed industrial country with advanced technology. It was a pioneering country at chemistry, electrical engineering, machine-tool construction, railroads and transportation, ...


28

The United States abandoned the gold standard on 15 August 1971. Since then it has been using fiat money, which is not backed by any commodity. It derives its value solely from government authority. This is sometimes also known as a "managed currency standard".


23

The ORIGINAL Roman Republic (prior to the Punic Wars) was a prosperous, self-sufficient economy based on affluent, independent, and relatively free yeoman farmers enjoying a steady rate of technological advances. Because of this, Rome had a relatively representative government (the "veto" was originally a device to protect the common people). One can argue ...


22

Seems like the questioner was asking for a bit more than just an idea of conversion rates, so here is some background on how the pre-decimal currency worked. 4 farthings = one penny 2 halfpennies = one penny tuppence = colloquial two pence thruppence = colloquial three pence 240 pence = one pound 6 pence = sixpence (aka a Tanner), or half a shilling. ...


22

The US government alleges that this has occurred - see Superdollars. Very high quality counterfeit $100 bills flooded the US market. Although it may be that these were merely a way that the responsible institution was funding operations, it is commonly believed that these were also intended to cause inflation within the US by increasing the money supply. I ...


22

Good question with several answers. First a nod to Lennart for pointing out that Germany grew just like France and Britain and the USA, so a certain amount of "a rising tide floats all boats." However there were some factors that advantaged Germany more than the others: Highly educated, savings-minded workforce whose population losses were instantly ...


21

Tally sticks were credit-based money used by the King of England from roughly the XIII to the XIX century. The idea was quite simple: in a credit based system, you have to find a way to represent the credit which is uncounterfeitable and cheap to produce. It also had to have no value as an object, otherwise you can have a market for the object rather than ...


21

Mentions of Bandits and robbers: Bandits and robbers were a constant threat on the Silk Road. Xuanzang mentions several encounters with bandits. Near Dunhuang, the Silk Road split in two to skirt the rim of the Taklamakan Desert. The roads met again 1400 miles west at Kashgar. But between these two oases lay the Silk Road's most dangerous terrain. ...


20

During the era when the Phoenicians ruled the Mediterranean sea and surrounding territories (cerca 1550 - 300 B.C.), salt was indeed a highly precious commodity. After this, the Romans became the dominant force in the Mediterranean, though the value of salt did not immediately decline by any means. Whether it was pound-for-pound as valuable as gold, I think ...


20

To begin, the following passage from Britain, the Commonwealth and the End of Empire by Dr John Darwin discusses the "staggering blow" Great Britain felt after granting independence to India. ... Repairing Britain The huge sense of relief at a more or less dignified exit, and much platitudinous rhetoric, disguised the fact that the end of ...


20

The recent book Hitler's Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State by Götz Aly offers a new and very important look at this question. It is the subject of an ongoing academic debate but many of the factual findings seem to be indisputable, if I understand correctly (haven't read it but read very detailed reviews). UPDT: Very brief ...


20

The USSR growth rate during the 50's was not exceptionally high. The claims of more than 10% growth, although certainly theoretically possible, were simply not true, but Soviet propaganda. Real growth rates during the 50's and 60's were rather 4-7% depending on time period and who is doing the estimation. This can be compared to average OECD and average ...


19

During world war 2 , Germany carried out Operation Bernhard , one of the biggest currency counterfeit attempt in history , to destabilize the economy of Britain and the United States. The operation was named after(and started by) NSDAP member and SS Major Bernhard Krüger , who led the operation from a segregated factory built at Sachsenhausen concentration ...


18

Several historians/economists hold several factors responsible. I know two works that discuss this in great depth: The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith. Nation, State and the Industrial Revolution: The Visible Hand, Lars Magnusson. Personally, I believe the following factors played a crucial role: Wars: Britain's isolation from continental Europe meant ...


18

No, slavery was not on its way out. Historians like Dunning and Phillip are writing half a century before the cliometric revolution in economic history, which has completely changed how we view this question. Fogel and Engerman's 1974 "Time on the Cross" was quite influential in showing how profitable slavery was for those who practiced it. In particular, ...


18

Japan had a small domestic oil production, a few million barrels, but not nearly enough to meet their peacetime needs let alone war. What they did have is enough oil refineries with a capacity of almost a year's peacetime consumption. If they could get the oil to Japan, they could refine it into fuel. They were also heavily invested in synthetic oil plants ...


17

They lived in shanty towns and makeshift shelters until the government built apartment blocks. In many cases families lived in shacks or even tents for years. When I was a young boy I was friends with two girls whose mother had come from Germany and had been a little girl during the war. Once they showed me a handful of photographs her mother had saved. One ...


16

This is an addition to Mike Rodney's answer. The Twelve Tables, traditionally written in 450 BC, were some of Rome's most ancient laws. The majority of Table III deals with banking. In particular Law I says that bankers can't steal deposits; Law II forbids usury†; Laws V through X concern treatment of delinquent debtors. So banking was common enough 2500 ...


15

Bernanke has sort of answered this question himself, in his Remarks On Milton Friedman's Ninetieth Birthday. Friedman argued that the depression was basically caused by the Fed's contractionary monetary policy, and Bernanke seems to be in broad agreement with him, going so far as to say: Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official ...


15

Please don't use CPI. CPI only measures consumption bundles for wage workers. If you want to measure inflation you need to ask why you're equating the value of money over time. www.measuringworth.com goes into this, in great detail, with multiple theoretical papers and multiple measuring systems for US inflation. what amount of modern currency would ...


15

What did Germany do to become more prosperous than its victors after World War II? The boring answer to that it the rather simple: It didn't. The economy of both Germany and France were devastated by the war, the UK and US economy much less. Germany and France both recovered quickly, and Germany, France and the UK ended up with very similar levels of ...


15

Actually, both the building of the Autobahn and the (somewhat more conservative but still loan-based) initiatives for their financing predate the 1933-onward reign of the NSDAP. They merely continued what others had begun. And the funds were not that impressive either; in 1935 they amounted to only 4% of government spending. Rebuilding the military, by ...


15

One important factor was the warmer weather in most parts of the south. That led to two important effects: 1) the cultivability of cash crops such as cotton and sugar, and 2) relatively short winters. The cash crops were important because that's how slave labor was transformed into profits. Long winters were a liability, because slaves had to be fed while ...


15

John D. Rockefeller Sr. was far and away the richest man in the world in 1937 at his death. But with the bulk of his wealth bequeathed to the Rockefeller (and other) foundations rather than to his son John D. Jr., that probably leaves Henry Ford the world's richest man in 1939. However Ford had suffered a number of strokes in the late 1930's, and when he ...


14

No, not even close. Alan T Nolan lists this as one of the components of the Lost Cause Myth in his essay "The Anatomy of the Myth", collected in the book The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History (ed by Gary Gallagher and Nolan). McPherson says in Battle Cry that slavery was more firmly entrenched in 1860 than it had been in 1820. By 1860 the "...


14

In 1947, Cominform, an association of communist parties was founded. Cominform was supposedly an association of communist parties founded with a goal of mutual economic aid, but through Cominform, Stalin actually wanted to get control over the other communist countries. Josip Broz Tito was opposed to that idea. He wanted Yugoslavia to be independent in its ...


13

I will not interpret intercontinental in modern terms but rather view it as trade among distinct civilisations. Such trade dates back to Ancient Egyptian civilisations, Babylonians and Indus Valley Civilisation. Proofs exists in form of archeological excavations of, for example, potteries of Indus Civilisation in Iran and other parts of central Asia. The ...



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